Truman García Capote (né Truman Streckfus Persons) was an American author and screenwriter.
Capote was born in New Orleans. When he was four, his parents divorced and he was sent to live with relatives in Alabama. He did not have many friends, and he had taught himself to read and write before he began school. It was during this time that Capote became friends with Harper Lee.
At the age of eight, Capote’s mother remarried, and he moved to New York to live with his mother and her husband and changed his name to match theirs. Shortly after the move, his step-father was convicted of embezzlement and the family was forced to move to Connecticut.
Capote began writing at a very young age. He published several short works in his high school’s publications, and began working for The New Yorker in the copy room. He was eventually fired for angering poet Robert Frost. He left New York after that and returned to Alabama to begin writing his first novel.
Capote’s career began with his publication of short stories and travel writing. He gained some high critical praise for these works and his first novel. He worked on stage and screen adaptations of his work and others’, and eventually reached a celebrity status. His most remembered works are Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood.
Capote struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He had several publicized breakdowns and was known to have lied about several celebrity and romantic encounters. After publishing excerpts of Answered Prayers, his unfinished final book based on many public figures he knew personally, he lost many friends and social status. These troubles increased his drug use and alcohol consumption.
Capote died of liver failure complicated with phlebitis and drug intoxication shortly before his sixtieth birthday.
Capote was openly gay. Though they lived separately for many years, he was in a long-term relationship with fellow writer Jack Dunphy. Their ashes were scattered together.